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Hyundai Motor rolls out new hot hatch i30
South Korea’s largest automaker Hyundai Motor unveiled Wednesday its new hatchback i30 in South Korea with the aim of selling 15,000 units in the local market this year. 

The new hatchback, whose design and driving performance has been upgraded, is a newer version of the old i30 unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2011. 

The new hatchback comes with three engine options: a 1.4-liter turbocharged petrol engine, a 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.6 turbocharged diesel engine.

“We set a goal of selling 15,000 units of the new i30 in the local market and 250,000 units in the global market,” said Ryu Chang-sung, the head of Hyundai’s local marketing team, at the launch event in Seoul. 

Hyundai said it is confident of reaching the goal because the local hatchback market, which reached 20,000 units last year, is expected to continue growing. 

Hatchbacks -- cars with rear doors that opens upwards to provide easy access for loading -- have seen steady growth in the Korean auto market since German automaker Volkswagen first launched the Golf in 2005. The market further gained momentum after Hyundai launched the first generation i30 two years later. 

Hyundai’s new i30 is expected to face little competition here this time, as the sales of Volkswagen’s Golf was recently banned due to the company’s falsified emissions data for its diesel vehicles.

“Volkswagen’s Golf and Hyundai Motor’s i30 have so far led the formation of the hatchback market in Korea. However, the ultimate goal of the i30 is to compete in the global market beyond Korea,” said Hyundai Motor Executive Vice President Kwak Jin at the event. 

By Shin Ji-hye/The Korea Herald (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)